Waterborne security pilot in Key West
SeaWolf Security Group, Inc. of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. will demonstrate waterborne security patrols in the port of Key West, Fla., in a pilot program managed by security consultants SeaSecure LLC.
Key West’s harbor and waterways will be patrolled using a variety of purpose-designed security boats and specially trained security operators.
SeaSecure said that this Florida port security pilot program seeks to demonstrate a cost-effective adjunct to law enforcement that could be employed during periods of heightened concern. The program is a partnership between the U.S. Coast Guard, the Key West police department, the port of Key West, SeaWolf and SeaSecure.
“The recent elevation of the nation's security level to condition orange coincided with an increase in the maritime security level to MARSEC 2,” said Mike Fletcher, president of SeaWolf. “With this increase came recommendations from the Department of Homeland Security that ports increase waterside security with an eye to preventing attacks, such as those committed by al-Qaeda against the USS Cole and the French oil tanker Limburg.”
The U.S. Coast Guard has encouraged U.S. ports to provide in-water security to protect shipping. When there are cruise ships in port, such patrols become mandatory. They are usually performed by either local law enforcement or the cruise ships, which deploy lifeboats to enforce stand-off requirements set by the Coast Guard, SeaSecure said.
“Although the city's marine patrol unit provides strong security for our port facility, we are always interested in learning about new approaches,” Raymond W. Archer, port director of the port of Key West.